Mohd Zainal Abidin, N., Imamori, S., and Alexander, A., "Development of High Efficiency Next-Generation SH-AWD Rear Drive Unit," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1098, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1098.
One primary concern with applying an AWD system to a front wheel drive (FWD) vehicle architecture is the additional weight and drag associated with the AWD drivetrain components, resulting in an increase in fuel consumption compared to FWD-only models. Therefore, Honda recently developed a next-generation integrated AWD unit that reduces weight and drag loss, and increases the SH-AWD cornering performance while maintaining the performance requirements of the previous rear drive unit. These targets were achieved primarily through the application of hydraulically-actuated clutches and an increase in the “speed-increasing ratio”. This paper describes the development, system validation and future technology implications of this recent advancement.